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UK’s biggest hoax sting reveals iSpoof site linked to 200,000 victims

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Britain’s biggest ever fraud has shut down a phone number spoofing site used by criminals to scam thousands of victims out of millions of pounds.

Members of UK law enforcement agencies were part of a global campaign to take down ispoof.cc, a website described by police as an online fraud shop.

He collaborated with the Dutch police, who managed to bug the website’s servers in the Netherlands to secretly eavesdrop on telephone conversations.

At one point, 20 people every minute were being targeted by callers using technology purchased from the site.

The criminals, who discovered the site through ads placed on channels on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, used it to buy the technology, which allowed them to hide their phone numbers.

This meant they could trick victims into thinking their bank was contacting them and persuade them to provide personal details, allowing the fraudsters to steal money.

One victim lost £3 million and the average loss among 4,785 people is £10,000.

There are probably many more potential victims.

Of the 10 million scam calls made, 40% were in the United States, 35% in the UK, and the rest were spread across several countries.

Internet users who visit ispoof.cc will now see a message that it has been seized by law enforcement (PA).

Around 70,000 UK phone numbers called by criminals using the site will be alerted by text message from the Metropolitan Police on Thursday and Friday and asked to contact police.

So far, 120 arrests have been made – 103 in London and 17 outside the capital.

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They include alleged site manager Teejay Fletcher, 35, who was arrested in East London earlier this month and faces criminal charges.

Police said Fletcher, who is reportedly a member of an organized crime group, led a “luxury” lifestyle.

The site is said to have made a profit of over £3 million.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the number of potential British casualties was ‘extraordinary’ (Carl de Souza/PA)

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the number of potential victims in the UK was “extraordinary”, adding: “What we are doing here is trying to industrialise our response to the industrialization of the organized crime problem.”

Founded in December 2020, Ispoof had 59,000 users at its peak, allowing them to pay for criminal software using bitcoin, with fees ranging from £150 to £5,000 per month.

British police launched an investigation into the site in June 2021 and selected Isof as the largest criminal site in the country.

Detective Superintendent Helen Raines, who leads cybercrime for the Met, said: “By removing IcePoof, we have prevented further crimes and fraudsters from targeting future victims.

“Our message to criminals using this website is that we have your information and we are working hard to find you wherever you are.”

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